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The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company

The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company

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At the turn of the 20th century, scores of circuses crisscrossed America. In many towns, Circus Day was a major holiday, right behind Christmas and Fourth of July. Schools and businesses closed as the populace flocked to the circus street parade and, later, to the circus grounds. Their anticipation had been fueled weeks beforehand by the circus's advance squads of billposters, who covered walls and fences for miles around with brilliantly colored, boldly bombastic posters advertising the season's feature attractions.


"The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company" catalog uses extant posters to explore the circus and its impact on American culture. It also examines the role of the posters themselves in the evolution of visual communication and consumer advertising, particularly outdoor advertising.